Crawl spaces are convenient since they help you to quickly build a house on uneven terrain. Unfortunately, they are prone to moisture problems. Even slightly increased humidity levels can cause wooden fixtures and beams to rot, while the presence of moisture can lead to mold growth. In addition, since most pests are drawn to dark and damp places, a humid crawl space can be quickly inhabited by these creatures.
With that said, you should know that standing water beneath your home can cause much worse problems. If for some reason, your crawl space has been flooded, you need to take steps to dry it out as quickly as possible. The longer you neglect this situation, the bigger the problems will become. So, what should you do if your crawl space is full of water? In this post, we will answer this question and address several waterproofing options that can help you avert these situations for good.
Drying out the Crawl Space
When your crawl space is full of standing water, the first thing you need to do is to find some kind of pump that will remove the excess water. Fortunately, submersible pumps can be found easily, and if you don’t want to buy one, you can just rent it. You will need this type of pump only in serious cases of flooding.
When you have finally removed all the water, you have to deal with the humidity that is left behind. Increased moisture levels can cause serious problems with rot and mold, so use a dehumidifier to dry out this space.
If you have been using your crawl space as storage, you need to check your possessions and see whether there was anything down there that has become wet. If so, you need to take those things out. This is especially significant if the spill was sewage-related. In this case, use gloves to place your things in plastic bags for later disposal. Keep in mind that this water can be contaminated with all kinds of harmful microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and protozoa.
Even regular water spills from a leaking water pipe can make your things moldy and you will probably need to get rid of them.
When your crawl space is finally dry, look for signs of rot and mold growth. If some of your wooden elements have begun to rot, call a contractor who will repair or replace them.
Causes of Flooding Issues
You want to prevent this sort of problem from happening again in the future. To do this, you need to find the cause of the flood. Here are just some of the potential reasons why your crawl space ended up under water.
Inadequate drainage system: If rainy days in Minneapolis, MN always lead to the appearance of standing water in your crawl space, something is wrong with your drainage system. Do you regularly maintain your gutters and downspouts? Are they free of clogs and cracks? Check them out and also check your yard’s grade. If every time it rains all the excess water ends up below your home, you need to regrade your yard. This way that water will be directed away from your property.
Faulty sump pump: Do you have a crawl space sump pump installed? If so, you need to check whether this device is working properly. When your crawl space is dry, take a bucket of water and pour it into the sump pit. If the float switch does not turn on the pump on time, you need to call your contractor and have them take a look at it.
Leaky pipes: If you moved into an old house, it is possible that the pipes are not in the best condition. Over time they can begin to rust and deteriorate, which can cause leaks and standing water in your crawl space.
Sewage backup: When sewage lines get clogged, water backs up and floods your crawl space. As mentioned, this water is full of dangerous microorganisms that can damage your health.
Crawl Space Flooding Solutions
When you have determined the cause of the problem, you can consider installing waterproofing solutions that will keep your crawl space dry in the future.
Crawl Space Drainage System
CrawlDrain™ is a system specially designed for crawl spaces. It is installed along the crawl space perimeter and its purpose is to collect leaking water from your crawl space. Its perforated drainage holes allow it to collect water from the soil as well as the surface of your crawl space. Because of its clog-resistant filter fabric, there is no need to worry about clogs. All the water that is collected by the system will be directed to the sump pump. The CrawlDrain™ system is an affordable way to keep your crawl space dry and safe from water damage.
A Sump Pump
A sump pit is built in the ground and its job is to collect underground water that is threatening to flood your crawl space. On the other hand, the purpose of the sump pump is to remove the water from the pit through a discharge pipe and send it away from your home. Since it can quickly pump out large volumes of water, it can solve your standing water problem.
With encapsulation, you can waterproof your crawl space and turn it into a nice and clean area suited for storing items you rarely use. A plastic 20-mil vapor barrier will not only keep the moisture out but also pests that would otherwise inhabit your crawl space. To prolong the lifespan of your liner, you should also install drainage matting. Without it, water can become trapped under the liner, with no way of getting to the drain.
While a dehumidifier cannot dry out a flooded crawl space, it is ideal for regulating humidity levels in this area and preventing moisture issues.
If you wish to learn more about the ways you can keep your crawl space dry, contact Innovative Basement Authority and schedule a free inspection and quote.